Best beaches in Eastbourne

Top things to do and activities

Eastbourne deserves the best reputation when it comes to fun opportunities at the beaches. An immaculate seafront town, it hosts students who frequent one end of the shore in the evenings. With a nice shingle for swimming, it is a pleasant environment away from the commotion of other south coast resorts. Take your kids here on your next adventures when the sun is shining.

  1. Holywell
  2. Beachy Head
  3. Birling Gap
  4. Grand Parade Main Resort Beach
  5. Hastings Beach
  6. Brighton Beach

The most recognisable feature is the Eastbourne Beachy head that extends over a mile from the cliff end to the pier and beyond. Most of the beaches near Eastbourne have a seafront promenade offering secluded swimming as well as lifeguards throughout summer. The vast shingle beaches at Eastborne offer sand and some rock pooling at low tide.

1. Holywell

Holywell beach Eastbourne is a retreat area sitting at the South Down's foot and renowned as an Eastbourne dog-friendly beach. A quiet small enclave serves visitors well with beach huts, cafes, and chalets. Don't miss the attractive marine life that flocks the rock pools around Holywell at low tide. The pretty Italian gardens and chalk cliffs of Beachy Head are worth the walk. Heading west from the pier, you will come across cute cafes offering Chelsea buns, beach showers, and several beach toilets. Towards the end of the promenade is a section of beach huts that are very close to amenities. Spend an afternoon jumping the waves, relaxing with a picnic, or crab hunting with your little ones.

Fun activity: Dog walking under supervision

Must see: Traditional beach chalets

2. Beachy Head

The UK's tallest sea cliff, Beachy Head, is located at the end of the Eastbourne seafront immediately to the east of Seven Sisters Country Park. When you get here, you have to check out the lighthouse, and take a tour on an open-topped bus. In the evening, sip your favorite drink at the nearest pub while gazing at the cliff tops and South Downs. Also, consider riding the thermals or participating in a 26-mile marathon if you have a passion for running. For the best views of the white-striped houses, walk from the Beachy Head's foot all the way to the top. There is an accessible path for wheelchair users known as the Peace Path.

Fun activity: Flying kites

Must see: Belle Tout Lighthouse on the clifftop

3. Birling Gap

The chalk and shingle beachfront at Birling Gap is perfect for fossil hunting when the tide recedes. This sandy beach near Eastbourne is famed for surfing and paddling. If you are a beginner, it is best to watch the pros showcasing their talent until you perfect these water activities. But don't worry since there are excellent walks over Seven Sisters cliffs along South Downs Way where you'll spot a flutter of butterflies. Amenities like cafes, ice cream shops, and toilet blocks are available near the local landmarks and East Dean Village.

Fun activity: Rock pooling

Must see: Seven Sisters Country Park

4. Grand Parade Main Resort Beach

From beautiful architecture to a great pier, beach huts, flowers, and cafes, the Grande parade has a quiet elegance. You can hire sun loungers and deckchairs at reasonable rates on this Eastbourne sandy beach. Toilets, refreshment facilities, and small kiosks are within a walking distance. The promenade also goes by the name Grand Parade so do not be confused. You will be pleased to know that this is a safe bathing zone thanks to first aid cover, lifeguards, and Kidzsafe wristbands available here. Some of the beach merchandise you can buy from the nearby shops include bucket sets, SPF, armbands, and towels. Mattresses, beach huts, and parasols are available for hire every day at the Lifeguard Station. People often rent the beach huts when the sun gets hotter, some of which sit directly on the shoreline.

Fun activity: Promenade walks

Must see: Beach clubs on wooden deck

5. Hastings Beach

The best stretch of coastline in Hastings features lots of sea-smoothed pebbles, making it a favourite pebble beach Eastbourne. If you want to have fun along an expanse of sand, visit the area at low tide. If sea bathing appeals to you the most, look no further than the award-winning Pelham beach, specially catered to family fun. Dogs are welcome at Hastings Beach (though not along the area between harbour arm and the pier). Plus, there is a broad array of restaurants, cafes and accommodation to make holidays easier for those travelling with kids. You can hire deck chairs and rest assured when it comes to safety thanks to beach patrols covering the areas from May to September.

Fun activity: Watch fossils turn into dinosaurs at the Hastings Museum

Must see: Abbey ruins, King Harold's resting place

6. Brighton Beach

The pebbled Brighton beach nestled in a cove, with southerly wind protection, is safe for swimming. Explore and collect pebbles on the vast space but avoid any kind of ball games. Take a stroll along the Brighton Pier to enjoy the amusements and excellent sights of the coastline. Soak up the city views while shopping, or relax in the historic garden. Close by are antique shops, sea baths, galleries, seaside restaurants, and accessible toilets.

Fun activity: Snack on cold, creamy ice cream

Must see: Artists' Quarter on the lower promenade

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